*Lee Daniels’ next project will depict the true story of a college-bound football player who was falsely accused of rape.
According to Variety, the director is currently developing “The Brian Banks Story,” about the All-American high school football player who, in 2002, had committed to USC’s football program before being accused of rape. Banks maintained his innocence, but a hasty plea bargain resulted in Brian serving over five years in prison, five years on parole and registering as a sex offender.
Through the California Innocence Project, Banks’ conviction was overturned in 2012. He played in four pre-season games for the Atlanta Falcons and is now a motivational speaker and an activist and spokesperson for the California Innocence Project.
“All I ever wanted was to prove my innocence,” Banks said. “Telling my story in the form of a feature film is beyond my wildest dreams.”
The project will be produced by Amy Baer through her Gidden Media banner and directed by Daniels. Justin Brooks and Neil Strum are executive producing.
Daniels’ most recent film, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” grossed over $167 million worldwide.
“Lee is a filmmaker who looks at challenging circumstances with honesty, compassion, and hope,” Baer said. “He has an emotional connection to Brian’s story that I’m certain will result in a powerful and redemptive film.”